It’s been less than a breeze for the Winnipeg Jets since the NHL schedule resumed following the Olympics.
The team is 2-1-1 in these games and even though they’re coming off an overtime loss to the New York Islanders and Thursday’s decisive 3-1 setback to the Los Angeles Kings, head coach Paul Maurice isn’t feeling a loss of the momentum he has sparked since taking over in mid-January.
"We’re facing that right now (and) I don’t, certainly in their intentions and their focus," Maurice said after today’s short practice as the MTS Iceplex, where the team was preparing to meet the Ottawa Senators at the MTS Centre Saturday afternoon. "In our last 20 games, we’re going to play at least 10 of them against the top 10 teams in the NHL so we’re going to see some (tough games).
"I know the Phoenix and Nashville games didn’t look pretty but those were critical, tough wins. Both those teams looked at those as must games, certainly Nashville at home, going into the trade deadline.
"At no point are we coming out to dominate a team in that manner. They’re going to look a little different this time of year. That’s part of the message to the L.A. game — as long as you’re comfortable in that and I thought we were for a while."
The Sens, 27-25-11, are like the Jets, a few points outside of the playoff group in the Eastern Conference, and have lost two in a row.
The Jets are likely to ice the same lineup Saturday, based on the look of today’s practice. That keeps Michael Frolik in the middle in the wake of the serious knee injury to rookie centre Mark Scheifele.